Much to the dismay of Baylor's defense, Trevone Boykin grew up before everybody's eyes Saturday night.
Making his first college road start, TCU's redshirt freshman quarterback looked like a veteran unfazed by pressure, the Floyd Casey Stadium crowd and the demands of Big 12 football.
Throwing for 261 yards and four touchdowns, Boykin led the Horned Frogs to a 49-21 win over the Bears before 42,524 fans in the first conference meeting between the two schools since the final year of the Southwest Conference in 1995.
Boykin's superb performance and six Baylor turnovers added up to a disappointing night for Art Briles and his players.
"It was very humbling, very embarrassing and very uncharacteristic for us to turn the ball over that many times," Briles said. "Turnovers will kill you against anybody. It's very frustrating and humiliating not just to us as coaches, but to our players and the university. We did not do a good job of showing up for Baylor tonight."
Boykin looked much more composed than last week when he threw three interceptions in his first college start in TCU's 37-23 loss to Iowa State in Fort Worth. He's the quarterback TCU (5-1, 2-1) will depend on the rest of the season since junior quarterback Casey Pachall withdrew from school this week to enter a rehabilitation facility after he was arrested for suspicion of DWI.
With Boykin hitting 22 of 30 passes, the Horned Frogs controlled the clock by staying on the field for an astounding 41 minutes and 52 seconds as they converted 14 of 19 third downs. TCU racked up 509 total yards and didn't commit a single turnover.
"Boykin played well and put the ball in places where we didn't think he could," Baylor safety Sam Holl said. "We thought we could rattle him, but we didn't get to him. We couldn't get off the field on third downs."
It was a critical loss for the Bears (3-2, 0-2) who will hit the road for their next two games against No. 15 Texas and Iowa State. The Bears' six turnovers more than doubled their season total after they committed just five turnovers in the first four games.
With TCU's defensive line delivering considerable pressure, Baylor quarterback Nick Florence hit 12 of 19 passes for 289 yards but threw four interceptions.
"We can't have that many turnovers if we want to win," Florence said. "I've got to make better throws and better decisions. I put our defense in a bind. I'm going to take the blame for it because I threw the ball. We've got to learn from it and move on."
Despite all the turnovers, the Bears still only trailed 28-21 after Florence hit Terrance Williams with a 77-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline with 1:13 left in the third quarter.
But the Horned Frogs answered with 21 straight points to put the game away.
Boykin calmly led the Horned Frogs on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Laderice Sanders' 2-yard touchdown run with 11:29 remaining in the game. Aundre Dean was the biggest producer on the drive as he powered 21 yards and 11 yards on consecutive plays to Baylor's 3.
The Horned Frogs put the nail in the coffin with Kevin White's 24-yard interception return to Baylor's 14 to set up Boykin's 15-yard touchdown pass to Josh Boyce to stretch TCU's lead to 42-21 with 9:11 remaining.
After Florence was intercepted by Sam Carter, the Horned Frogs moved 44 yards for their final touchdown with Boykin finishing it off with 3-yard run to push the lead to 49-21 with 5:33 remaining.
"I'm not going to point the finger at the offense for the turnovers," Baylor nickelback Ahmad Dixon said. "The defense didn't execute on third downs. Tackling, covering and playing the ball, we let all that go out the window."
Leading 14-7 at halftime, the Horned Frogs quickly extended their lead to two touchdowns as Boykin fired a 43-yard scoring pass to LaDarius Brown. Baylor cornerback Tyler Stephenson had good coverage on the play, but Boykin threw a perfect pass in the end zone.
But Florence responded with a 47-yard pass to Tevin Reese to the 5. Florence ran for a 5-yard touchdown on the next play to cut TCU's lead to 21-14 with 9:12 left in the third quarter.
Once again, Boykin was up to the task as he led the Horned Frogs on a 15-play, 74-yard drive that took nearly eight minutes off the clock.
The Horned Frogs converted three first downs on the drive including Boykin's 10-yard pass to Brandon Carter to the 27 on third-and-9.
Facing third-and-8 at the 13, Boykin whipped an 11-yard pass to Cam White to set up Boyce's 2-yard touchdown run to extend TCU's lead to 28-14 with 1:28 left in the third quarter.
"Trevone and a whole bunch of people did a great job on offense," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "If you control the ball and the other team doesn't have it, they don't have a chance to score. It's big for us to do that and get points."
The Bears couldn't have gotten off to a better start to open the game as Florence hit a 74-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Williams for a touchdown with 14:34 left in the first quarter.
"Terrance made a good move on their safety and I got the ball off," Florence said. "He's a good route runner who makes good plays."
Offense grinds to halt
But there were few offensive highlights for the Bears the rest of the half as Florence threw two interceptions and Jarred Salubi fumbled.
The Horned Frogs went into halftime with a 14-7 lead thanks to an impressive 75-yard drive on which they converted four third downs and a fourth down and took nearly eight minutes off the clock.
After converting a pair of third-and-1 plays, the Horned Frogs appeared in deep trouble when linebacker Bryce Hager sacked Boykin for an 8-yard loss back to Baylor's 49.
But Boykin spotted Boyce for 16 yards over the middle before hitting Brown for 6 yards on fourth-and-2 to Baylor's 29.
After picking up another first down, TCU faced third-and-seven at the 15. Boykin delivered again as he fired a bullet to White over the middle for a 15-yard touchdown to give the Horned Frogs a 14-7 lead with 2:45 left in the second quarter.
Baylor's first turnover led to TCU's first touchdown after Jason Verrett intercepted Florence's pass at the Bears' 45.
Facing third-and-15 at the 50, Boykin eluded a Baylor rush and scrambled 25 yards to the 25. Three plays later, Boykin perfectly led White for an 18-yard touchdown pass over Joe Williams to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:56 left in the first quarter.
The Bears responded with a solid drive as they picked up three first downs and moved 49 yards to the 26. But Carter sacked Florence for a 7-yard loss. On the next play, Florence eluded TCU's rush but threw a pass into tight coverage that was intercepted by Chris Hackett.
The Bears moved into TCU territory again as Florence hit Reese for 17 yards and Salubi picked up 12 yards to the 29. But after a 4-yard run up the middle, Devonte Fields forced a Salubi fumble and Hackett recovered at the 25 with 10:27 left in the second quarter.
Despite the disappointing loss, Florence is confident the Bears can bounce back.
"We're not going to put our heads down and throw in the towel," Florence said. "When it comes to bowls, you're defined by how you finish."